Durability analysis of the highly effective BNT162b2 vaccine against COVID-19

June 8 2022

COVID-19 vaccines are effective, but breakthrough infections have been increasingly reported. We conducted a test-negative case-control study to assess the durability of protection after full vaccination with BNT162b2 against polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-confirmed symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, in a national medical practice from January 2021 through January 2022. We fit conditional logistic regression (CLR) models stratified on residential county and calendar time of testing to assess the association between time elapsed since vaccination and the odds of symptomatic infection or non-COVID-19 hospitalization (negative control), adjusted for several covariates. There were 5,985 symptomatic individuals with a positive test after full vaccination with BNT162b2 (cases) and 32,728 negative tests contributed by 27,753 symptomatic individuals after full vaccination (controls). The adjusted odds of symptomatic infection were higher 250 days after full vaccination versus at the date of full vaccination (Odds Ratio [OR]: 3.62, 95% CI: 2.52 to 5.20). The odds of infection were still lower 285 days after the first BNT162b2 dose as compared to 4 days after the first dose (OR: 0.50, 95% CI: 0.37 to 0.67), when immune protection approximates the unvaccinated status. Low rates of COVID-19 associated hospitalization or death in this cohort precluded analyses of these severe outcomes. The odds of non-COVID-19 associated hospitalization (negative control) decreased with time since vaccination, suggesting a possible underestimation of waning protection by this approach due to confounding factors. In summary, BNT162b2 strongly protected against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection for at least 8 months after full vaccination, but the degree of protection waned significantly over this period.


Arjun Puranik, Patrick J Lenehan, John C O'Horo, Colin Pawlowski, Michiel J M Niesen, Abinash Virk, Melanie D Swift, Walter Kremers, A J Venkatakrishnan, Joel E Gordon, Holly L Geyer, Leigh Lewis Speicher, Venky Soundararajan, Andrew D Badley

nference, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA

Mayo Clinic


Correspondence to:

Venky Soundararajan (venky@nference.net)